Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

"Children Playing with My Skeleton"

Children Playing with My Skeleton

After the vertebrae became a clacking xylophone,
They were rearranged from smallest to largest
To form a doll fortress.

The grey matter in my brain
Was a set of monochromatic fingerpaints
And whitewashed watercolor designs were painted on my skull.

My humerus was a Hot Wheels track.
Feeling generous, they gave me a third arm
Stolen from some other skeleton.

They filled my eye sockets with tiny Magic 8 balls
So that my head could answer “yes,” “no,”
And “try again later.”

Crayon wax coated my ribcage,
Which they used to trap fluttering paper cranes.
My skeleton was plastered with glitter and stickers.

They snickered at the word “phalanges.”
They Bedazzled my metatarsals.
And then they went back to playing with Legos.

My new skeleton is unwieldy,
But no more so than my old one.